18 December 2002
LOBEL, Matthias de. Plantarum seu stirpium icones. Antwerp: Chistopher Plantin, 1581.
Oblong 4o (171 x 221 mm). Plantin device on title, ornamental initial, 2173 woodcuts, printed 2-3 per page. (Some very pale occasional spotting.) Contemporary blind-tooled vellum, gilt-lettered on spine (headbands renewed, a bit rubbed). Provenance: J.D. Cameron Bradley (MHS presentation bookplate dated 1947).
FIRST EDITION. The work consists almost entirely of the woodcuts which Plantin had made for various botanical works, principally Clusius and Dodoens, printed 2 or 3 to a page, each with Latin name and a page reference to the Latin and Dutch editions of Lobel's full text. After the Clusius edition of 1576, the Plantarum contains some of the earliest woodcuts of exotic plants, such as tulips, introduced to Europe from Asia Minor. "It is a most useful reference work in connection with the study of 16th-century botanical illustration" (Hunt). The woodcuts were later used in the 1633 edition of Gerarde's Herbal. Hunt 138; Nissen BBI 1220; Pritzel 5549; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 4909; Voet 1580.
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